Attosecond

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An attosecond is 1×10−18 of a second (one quintillionth of a second).[1] For context, an attosecond is to a second what a second is to about 31.71 billion years.[2][3]

The word "attosecond" is formed by the prefix atto and the unit second. Atto- was derived from the Danish word for eighteen (atten).[4] Its symbol is as.

An attosecond is equal to 1000 zeptoseconds, or ​11000 of a femtosecond. Because the next higher SI unit for time is the femtosecond (10−15 seconds), durations of 10−17 s and 10−16 s will typically be expressed as tens or hundreds of attoseconds:

Times which can be expressed in attoseconds:

  • 1 attosecond: the time it takes for light to travel the length of two hydrogen atoms
  • 12 attoseconds: record for shortest time interval measured as of 12 May 2010[5]
  • 24 attoseconds: the atomic unit of time
  • 43 attoseconds: the shortest pulses of laser light yet created[6]
  • 53 attoseconds: the second-shortest pulses of laser light created[7][8]
  • 100 attoseconds: fastest-ever view of molecular motion[9][10]
  • 200 attoseconds (approximately): half-life of beryllium-8, maximum time available for the triple-alpha process for the synthesis of carbon and heavier elements in stars
  • 320 attoseconds: estimated time it takes electrons to transfer between atoms[11][12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "attosecond". Memidex/WordNet Dictionary/Thesaurus. Retrieved 2011-04-14. 
  2. ^ Electron Motion Filmed, 28 Feb. 2008
  3. ^ Exploring "Attosecond" Time. Visualising an Attosecond... How short is an attosecond?
  4. ^ atto- [A toh] (Danish or Norwegian: eighteen; a decimal prefix used in the international metric system for measurements). Wordinfo.info (2007-04-05). Retrieved on 2011-01-23.
  5. ^ "12 attoseconds is the world record for shortest controllable time". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. 
  6. ^ Gaumnitz, Thomas; Jain, Arohi; Pertot, Yoann; Huppert, Martin; Jordan, Inga; Ardana-Lamas, Fernando; Wörner, Hans Jakob (2017-10-30). "Streaking of 43-attosecond soft-X-ray pulses generated by a passively CEP-stable mid-infrared driver". Optics Express. 25 (22): 27506–27518. doi:10.1364/OE.25.027506. ISSN 1094-4087. 
  7. ^ Li, Jie; Ren, Xaoming; et al. (4 August 2017). "53-attosecond X-ray pulses reach the carbon K-edge". Nature Communications. 8 (1). doi:10.1038/s41467-017-00321-0. 
  8. ^ Watching Quantum Mechanics in Action: Researchers Create World Record Laser Pulse – 4 September 2012 – ScienceDaily. www.ScienceDaily.com. Retrieved on 2012-09-04.
  9. ^ "Fastest view of molecular motion". BBC. 2006. 
  10. ^ Baker, S.; Robinson, J. S.; et al. (2 March 2006). "Probing Proton Dynamics in Molecules on an Attosecond Time Scale". Science. 312 (5772): 424–427. doi:10.1126/science.1123904. PMID 16513942. 
  11. ^ Merali, Zeeya (20 July 2005). "Electron timed hopping between atoms". New Scientist. Archived from the original on 2016-05-11. 
  12. ^ Föhlisch, A.; Feulner, P.; et al. (21 July 2005). "Direct observation of electron dynamics in the attosecond domain". Nature. 436 (7049): 373–376. doi:10.1038/nature03833.